|Assisted by the British military and bomb experts, police were able to free the woman after 10 hours [Reuters]
An Australian woman has been freed after a 10-hour standoff, in which a device - suspected to be explosive - was collared around her neck, reports say.
The 18-year-old, who had been trapped in a home in the exclusive neighbourhood of Mosmon, in New South Wales, was relieved of the device early Thursday morning.
Mark Murdoch, the New South Wales assistant police commissioner, said: "We have secured the release of the young lady. She is safe and sound, she is being reunited with her parents as we speak."
While local Australian media had speculated that extortion was the motive for the bomb scare, police are still investigating.
Early reports claimed that a ransom note was left at the scene, but that could not be confirmed.
"You'd hardly think that someone would go to this much trouble if there wasn't a motive behind it. What that motive is, as I've indicated, we are still not aware," Murdoch said.
Thus far, no suspects have been named. However, police say that the person responsible for the act had previous interactions with the woman, the Reuters news agency says.
Police were able to disengage the bomb with the help of several Australian agencies, British military and bomb experts.